Simply Fair: Community Input

Throughout your community, at its municipal offices and meetings, on its streets and in its efforts to communicate with you, you encounter your local public officials, or get a sense of how well the community is functioning. How well have you been served lately by officials in your community?

Experiences for this category include:

    • Douglas Bedell

      Culture at a Covered Bridge

      We were part of a tour of covered bridges in Lancaster County, Pa. At one of them, an Amish woman and her daughter came through in their horse-drawn wagon. People in our party waved to them, and a couple of them had cameras. The Amish woman, I at first thought, waved back, but she was actually...
      • Douglas Bedell

        Back on the Web, Finally

        We're back. Simpy Fair was down for three weeks. Our Internet access was suspended for that long during the Verizon strike because Verizon either accidentally, or someone else on purpose, placed an order for our Internet presence to be taken down.  In fairness, we can't say more...
        • Douglas Bedell

          Seeking the Spotlight, We Can Be Too Far Out

          Fairness is like a trapeze at a circus – how much swing does it have, or should it have? If it goes too far, the artists may miss their targets, their intentions. Everyone wants to be fair, but some swing too far out. Who’s to say how far that is? Maybe a community like those of us...
          • Douglas Bedell

            'Cheerleading' in a Relational Context

            A marketing staff member at the retirement community where we live is asking us residents to vote for it in the local newspaper's "Best Of" contest, in the categories of "Best Retirement Community" and "Best Personal Care". This is understandable as cheerleading, and other nearby retirement...
            • Douglas Bedell

              Neighborliness On a Checkout Line

              By Douglas Bedell

              Categories: community

              I was on the speedy checkout line at the supermarket with three light bulbs to purchase. "Is that all you have?" the man in front of me asked, with not that many more items himself. "Here, go ahead of me." This wasn't an example of fairness so much as simple courtesy, awareness of another. I...
              • Douglas Bedell

                1776 Feet High – The New World Trade Center

                What an experience it was to watch, tonight, September 11, 2013, the Nova Public Broadcasting program "Ground Zero Supertower"!  On the 12th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the story was told of the new One World Trade Center and the hushed park and museum around the footprints...
                • Douglas Bedell

                  Fairness Variations: 'Random Acts of Kindness'

                  By Douglas Bedell

                  Categories: community

                  A note from June Gallagher prompted us to consider that acts of kindness are a variation on fairness. They help calm and refocus our days, if not our lives. Want some examples? Here's a host of them from The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. - Kindness 
                  • Douglas Bedell

                    Conflicts of Interest Aren't Fair

                    Reading a newspaper can be an experience in fairness. So it was today with a story in our local newspaper in Lebanon County, Pa. Residents of a neighborhood told their borough councilmen that they are being plagued by storm-water runoff. They were advised by the county planning department to...
                    • Douglas Bedell

                      Detroit's Collapse Was There to See

                      The Wall Street Journal had a photo yesterday of bankrupt Detroit – the gleaming General Motors towers on the river and the utterly forsaken blocks – square block after square block - leading to them. That's the way the scene – basically an urban wasteland - looked more than a...
                      • Douglas Bedell

                        View-Blocking Pansies

                        This is a minor peeve, but it points up the relational importance of work, however "mundane" a given job may seem. We went to a Fourth of July concert by the Harrisburg Symphony in the quadrangle of Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pa. The Harrisburg Symphony is a well-led orchestra. But for a...
                        • Ryan Sweeney

                          A Lesson For Us All

                          A couple of weeks ago, we returned home from a weekend trip to see the in-laws to find that 2 bikes were stolen from our 10 year old son.  The first bike wasn't a huge loss as it was a hand me down leftover bike from an older cousin.  The second bike though, was devastating for my son....
                          • Douglas Bedell

                            A Corner for Fairness on the Web

                            By Douglas Bedell

                            Categories: community

                            George Packer writes in his New Yorker piece on Silicon Valley (May 27) that "Technology can be an answer to incompetence and inefficiency. But it has little to say about larger issues of justice and fairness, unless you think that political problems are bugs that can be fixed by engineering rather...
                            • Douglas Bedell

                              Sitting, Waiting and Doing

                              By Douglas Bedell

                              Categories: community

                              My latest SimplyFair experience has been sitting, pining for experiences. It's become evident that SimplyFair needs a certain "critical mass" of members to insure a steady flow of several new experiences a day. It's also apparent that SF is, at this early point, a thin reed among the hundreds...
                              • Douglas Bedell

                                Sandy Hill Parents, Relatives Lobbying Congress

                                The shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut were a ghastly experience for the families and people of that community. Now the familes of the 20 students and six faculty members killed there in December are lobbying Congress for expanded background checks for gun purchases,...
                                • Douglas Bedell

                                  Libraries: Fairness Locales

                                  Just returned from our public library (in Lebanon, Pa.) after a successful search for a fairly obscure book. And it hit me that libraries are exemplars of fairness, in the sense of convenience of access to their treasures. It brings home that fairness is an aspect of how we're treated by our...
                                  • Douglas Bedell

                                    Time, Listening Needed to Resolve Disputes

                                    In talking with a police captain in Lebanon, Pa., on behalf of Lebanon Mediation Services, I got an insight into why mediation is such a helpful means of resolving neighborhood disputes. Police officers often don't have the time to work through all the factors involved. Talking and listening are...
                                    • Douglas Bedell

                                      Mayor Bloomberg 'Out Front' for the New Year

                                      Our annual Times Square-watching New Year's experience was enlivened by New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg kicking it up with Radio City's Rockettes. A man of great wealth, Mayor Bloomberg identifies with all New Yorkers, and that's amply fair in his leadership role. 
                                      • Douglas Bedell

                                        Unfair to Russian Orphans

                                        "Adoption when  needed is for the good of the child, not the good of the country," said Sergei Parkhomenko, a Russian journalist and commenter, on President Vladimir V. Putin's announced intention to sign a pending law that would ban the adoption of Russian orphans by American citizens. The...
                                        • Douglas Bedell

                                          Family Together Again

                                          By Douglas Bedell

                                          Categories: community

                                          Our East Coast family was together again yesterday, and it was a wonderful experience. We wish you all a blessed holiday season!
                                          • Douglas Bedell

                                            Words of Identity

                                            President Obama: "...As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it's an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago – these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these...